Federal Reserve officials raised the possibility that they might begin removing aggressive stimulus sooner than anticipated, as they neared agreement on an exit strategy, according to minutes of their July meeting.
“Many participants noted that if convergence toward the committee’s objectives occurred more quickly than expected, it might become appropriate to begin removing monetary policy accommodation sooner than they currently anticipated,” the minutes, released today in Washington, read.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has committed monetary policy to stronger labor markets, which she measures with an array of indicators, so long as inflation remains in check. The minutes said “many participants” still see “a larger gap between current labor market conditions and those consistent with their assessments of normal levels of labor utilization.”
In their post-meeting statement last month, Fed officials downplayed recent declines in the unemployment rate, highlighting “significant underutilization of labor resources.”
Still, the minutes showed policy makers anticipating further labor-market strength.
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